Why do Gülen Movement participants set up institutions?
The Movement deals with human needs at the cultural and spiritual level. This provides help and support for individuals against the imposition of lifestyles which do not provide them with the cultural bases for their self-identification.
The meanings and motives of the Movement, the type of conduct it encourages, and the internal processes of the formation of attitudes are not merely material and political. The Movement brings collective energies into focus so that deep-seated dilemmas and critical choices can be addressed. It asserts that the individual can only be educated, cared for, and informed within a healthy environment and sound institutions. In order to be able to do this, the Gülen Movement sets up new institutions, providing new language, new organizational patterns and new personnel.
The institutionalization of the social understanding of the Movement indicates the great range of its accumulation of knowledge, experience, and expertise. It shows what The Movement can introduce, innovate and offer to the larger society, humanity and the world. This cultural potential of the Movement is demonstrated in specific issues or specific social fields, and opens up more new arenas for innovation and change.
The institutionalization of the services is a success and indicates that people in the Movement have gained new life for their activities via traditional not-for-profit foundations. This helps legitimize the services and institutions and represents an important method of linking society’s past and present culture. It is also an important indication of people’s need for unity between their culture and modernity. So looking at the institutionalization of societal dynamics in a complex society is a more appropriate measure than simply asking whether or not the Gülen Movement is politically effective.
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